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EC Publishes Safety at Work Framework

The European Commission (EC) has recently set out its plans to better protect the more than 217 million workers in the EU from work-related accidents and diseases.

The Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014 – 2020 identifies the key challenges facing workplace safety and sets out proposed actions to tackle these challenges.

“People have the right to work without facing health or safety risks in the workplace. Yet every year more than three million workers are victims of a serious accident at work in the EU and 4,000 die in workplace accidents,” explained European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor.

“Work related accidents and diseases affect all sectors and professions, irrespective of whether people are sitting behind a desk, driving a truck or working in a mine or on a construction site. They not only cause personal suffering but also impose high costs on companies and society as a whole,” he added.

The three main challenges to health and safety at work identified in the Framework are:

  • Improving the implementation of existing health and safety rules, in particular by enhancing the capacity of micro and small enterprises to put in place effective and efficient risk prevention strategies,
  • improving the prevention of work-related diseases by tackling new and emerging risks without neglecting existing risks, and
  • taking account of the ageing of the EU's workforce.

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